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PAPILLION -- Olivia Boudreau likes the pressure. She embraces it.

So when she went to the foul line with 0.8 seconds remaining in a tie ballgame against upset-minded Lincoln Northeast, the Papillion-La Vista junior guard felt like she was in a good place.

Boudreau missed the first throw.

She didn’t miss the second as the Class A top-ranked Monarchs escaped with a 51-50 win Saturday at Papillion-La Vista High School.

“You shake it off, smile, take a couple breaths and I was good,” Boudreau said of missing the first free throw.

Just as confident was Papio coach Josh Siske.

“She’s a kid that -- it shouldn’t be like this -- but when she got fouled, I thought, 'OK, we’re going to be ahead one way or the other,’” Siske said. “I just had faith that she’d make one of those two. She doesn’t get bothered by pressure. Pressure doesn’t bother her at all.

“I watch her practice, I don’t see her miss two free throws in a row very often. I just thought she’d be fine.”

The Monarchs (14-1), who were playing their sixth game in 11 days, found themselves scratching and clawing throughout Saturday’s game.

Behind 20 points from McKenna Minter, Northeast led most of the game, and though it was tied at 50-50, Papio found itself needing to play defense in the final seconds to possibly force overtime.

The Rockets (7-4) had intentions of holding for the last shot, but a pair of Papio defenders came out to trap Minter and forced a turnover. Boudreau got the ball and was fouled going up for a layup with 0.8 seconds left.

“That’s always a tough one,” Northeast coach Steve Bartek said of holding for the final shot. “I always like calling for that last shot when you get down to 30, 40 seconds. You got a girl like McKenna Minter, who was having a great game. She hit a couple threes, she was getting to the rim, she was making a lot happen, so we liked the position we were in.”

It seemed like when Papillion-La Vista was on a verge of a run, Northeast would answer to maintain the lead. Minter had three three-pointers and a late steal and assist on a Jenna Wendelin layup.

Boudreau helped keep the Monarchs within striking distance, scoring 11 of her 17 points in the second half. And though it was Boudreau hitting the winning free throw, just as a big was a corner three from Taylor Hoelscher to tie the game at 50-50 with 1:15 remaining.

“That three by Hoelscher was a big one,” Bartek said. “We just needed one more rebound and put them in situation to start fouling us. Papio stepped up and hit the big shot when they had to have them, and that was that three.”

Azaiya Trainor added 12 points for the Rockets, who haven’t played many games together at full strength because of injuries and concussions.

Now healthy, Northeast is looking to take some positives from Saturday’s near-upset.

“To come here on Papio’s home court, after they win the Metro Conference in a convincing matter in the finals, and for (us) to come in here on their home court and give the best team in the state basically a run up until the point … it’s obviously disappointing but it’s going to be an opportunity for growth,” Bartek said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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